On 30th January 1649, Charles I, King of England was beheaded on a scaffold outside The Banqueting House at Whitehall. He had been condemned to death by Act of Attainder, and his death warrant was signed by 59 individuals. It is said that he went to his death wearing extra clothing so he would not shiver in front of the public, and he did not want them to think he was shaking from fear. But why was he condemned? It is well known that the Royalists lost the English Civil War and the country was taken over by Oliver Cromwell; and his trial found him guilty of inciting war, murder, rape, burnings and a number of other offences. Although Charles refused to admit his guilt, being under the impression that the King could do no wrong (he was a staunch believer in the Divine Right Of Kings), his silence was taken as his admission of guilt.
Charles I was executed with one clean stroke, his head held before the public though no words were spoken to the crowd.
After his execution, Oliver Cromwell allowed Charles’ head to be sewn back on and his body returned to his family. King Charles was buried on the 7th February in a private ceremony in St George’s Chapel, Windsor inside the same vault that Henry VIII was buried in.
Charles I is one of my heroes and I have always been staunchly royalist. For my sins I was even a member of the Sealed Knot at one point, and had joined a Royalist regiment (Henry Tillier’s in case any one cares!). My love of the English Civil War knows no bounds and I have a huge respect for Charles I, for what he fought for, for what he died for. In my eyes the man is a hero, and certainly did not deserve the death that he got.